Asia

[snapshot] Seoul holiday planning

Other than a fun-filled Friday night out, my weekend was spent trying to paint my wall (unsuccessful) and finalising the details on my upcoming trip.

And before you all ask “Do you ever work?” or something along those lines… Yes, I know I just came back from Adelaide but I NEED to go on this trip for my friend’s wedding. True story.

I’ve never been inclined to visit Korea. I think you already know that if I don’t NEED to go to Asia, I won’t. Except for Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines. I mean, I can eat Korean food here, my Korean friend lives here and I can buy Korean condiments here. So why do I need to go there when there’s such a large Korean community right at my doorstep (not literally).

Well, the answer is simple. The Korean friend I spoke of, is getting married!! The couple has decided to do two celebrations; one in Korea (girl’s family) and one in China (boy’s family). Thus, many of us have selected to attend the wedding in Korea.

Whenever I venture into Asia, I need to plan my travel. I can’t do  it on the whim, with no plan and just crash wherever my feet take me. No, I need to plan. The need to do this stems from a combination of the language barrier (I find it hard to learn Asian languages) and a need to fit EVERYTHING into my itinerary because I probably won’t be going back.

So the flights were easy. Pick date, confirm, pay for tickets and receive e-itinerary. DONE.

Accommodation was a tad harder. The wedding is in Gangnam, and most people were going to be staying at a hotel near the wedding venue. Which makes perfect sense, but at nearly US$100/night, it’s a bit steep for 1 person. My friend had warned me that Gangnam is an upmarket suburb, made all the more popular with Psy’s global hit, Gangnam Style, so it was going to be a challenge finding a cheaper alternative.

Enter the New York Times columnist, the Frugal Traveler

It just so happened the Frugal Traveler set himself the same challenge on similar principles and wrote about it, so I could benefit from it (and other loyal readers of the newspaper). So that took care of the accommodation.

Now I am ready! With 4 packed days starting the minute I step off the plane, I’ve filled it with a combination of cultural nature walks, a visit to the border of North and South Korea, food coma(s) and design and architectural porn. All with the help Lonely Planet‘s suggested itineraries and local knowledge.

Bring it on, Seoul.

Now to plan the Hong Kong part of the holiday…

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